Causes of Poverty and Vagrancy

Decent Essays
The most significant cause of poverty and vagrancy in this period was the economic depression. Discuss.
INTRO: An economic depression entails a larger period of time of usually more than ten years. Therefore it is unreasonable to declare this as the most significant cause of poverty and vagrancy as generally, aside from the mid-tudor crisis years, the economy fluctuated and so it can be said it was more economic downturns which caused poverty and vagrancy than an economic depression. Other factors causing poverty and vagrancytrend throughout the time period such as population increase, inflation and relgious change.
The economic depression occured in the midtudor crisis years form 1547-1558 and it comprised of many issues which combined
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The great debasement of coinage in the 1540s meant that silver in coins was reduced by as much as 2 thirds. Spanish silver influx due to the mairrage of Phillip and Mary. Inflation rates and enclosures were seen as important causes which is why Elizabeth brought in the poor law of 1572 whereby a compulsory poor tax was introduced.
• Rackrenting - increased rent rates on threat of eviction landlords used this technique in the mid tudor crisis years in particular. there was a lack in hospitality from landlords and people in general - they left it to the parishes to deal with. a lack of cymmorth prevailed in wales.
• Religion was also a cause of poverty and vagrancy. The dissolution of the monasteries meant that paupers who previously seeked refuge in monasteries could no longer do so and many were pushed into begging. prior to the dissolution 6,4% of Norwich cathedrals income went toward the paupers. Monks became vagrants however some had pensions though these changed with inflation so many had to beg. Nuns on the otherhand were far worse off as they were not allowed to marry and possessed no practical skill - in Edward reign they took advantage of the right to marry but still difficult. Protestants are less giving than catholics as they dont believe it is necessary to get to heaven. therefore when religion changed throughout the period so did the amount of charitable provisions available until the introduction of the poor law in
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